After months of evaluating draft talent finally knowing who will play for what team in 2018 allows us to consider who could make an immediate fantasy impact. These are some rookies you may want to be aware of for your non-dynasty fantasy leagues.
Quarterback is hard to determine because it is difficult to say who will play right away. In general, a rookie quarterback who can run has a better chance of making an impact as a fantasy player in year one. Unfortunately, Lamar Jackson is highly unlikely to see time this year.
1. Josh Rosen – Arizona Cardinals
Rosen is coming into a situation where he has one of the best receivers in football and one of the best pass-catching running backs in football. Rosen may not see the field all year with Mike Glennon and Sam Bradford on the roster, but if he does he could show some early success.
2. Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns
The Browns has a pretty talented group of skill players and Mayfield will probably make some plays when and if he sees the field as a rookie. As a mobile quarterback, he also has some upside by adding rushing yards and touchdowns.
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3. Sam Darnold – New York Jets
If Darnold wins the job (and that’s a pretty big “if”) he could have some success at the Jets managed to rally last year with a limited roster. Unfortunately, he is prone to turnovers and will have limited help from his supporting cast.
4. Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills
Allen is likely to win the starting job quickly, but he is also likely to throw a lot of picks. He also does not have any pass proven receivers to help him in his transition.
1. Saquon Barkley – New York Giants
Barkley is a stud who offers huge upside as a pass catcher. The Giants invested the second overall pick in him, so expect him to get a lot of touches.
2. Derrius Guice – Washington Redskins
The Redskins has a couple of other backs, but none as talented as Guice. If they are willing to make Guice their primary back he could be extremely productive as a rookie.
3. Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jones is extremely fast, but will need the Bucs’ offensive line to step up if he is going to be as productive as he could be. He should get a lot of work based on their depth chart at the position.
4. Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts
Hines may not be an every down back, but what he does in the pass game provides huge fantasy upside.
5. Royce Freeman – Denver Broncos
To truly understand Freeman’s upside, you have to go back a couple of years and see how he tore up the Pac-12 in 2015. Don’t be surprised if he becomes the guy in Denver at some point this season. If the Broncos can continue to improve their offensive line play he could make a major impact.
6. Rashaad Penny – Seattle Seahawks
Penny is fast and excellent at breaking tackles. The Seahawks took him in the first round, which shows commitment, but their offensive line is a concern. Also concerning is if Chris Carson will continue to be the main pass-catching back.
7. Sony Michel – New England Patriots
The Patriots took Michel in the first round, but it is hard to trust a Patriots running back in fantasy football. True, Michel may tear it up as both a runner and a pass catcher one week, but the next week it could be the James White show.
8. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns
People forget about how good Chubb was before his injury led to a split role with Michel. Chubb has some competition in the Browns’ backfield which could prevent him from putting up big numbers, but he is an extremely talented player.
9. Kerryon Johnson – Detroit Lions
Johnson could emerge as the top back in Detroit and may be a good option based on volume.
10. Kalen Ballage – Miami Dolphins
Ballage is an extremely talented back. He may be able to push Kenyan Drake for the lead role.
1. Michael Gallup – Dallas Cowboys
With Dez Bryant out of the picture, the Cowboys are in need of a number one receiver. Gallup has the runs excellent routes and had great speed. He could be the guy they are looking for.
2. DJ Moore – Carolina Panthers
DJ Moore has excellent speed and the Panthers are in need of a playmaking wide receiver. He could get a lot of opportunities.
3. Anthony Miller – Chicago Bears
Miller is an extremely talented receiver. He may struggled to get on the field with the talent the Bears have added at the position, but he has the talent to emerge as their number one guy. He is an excellent slot who could get a lot of volume from the Bears’ young quarterback, but has the ability to make big plays on the outside as well.
4. Calvin Ridley – Atlanta Falcons
Ridley is a talented receiver with big play ability. He runs great routes, but with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu already installed in the offense, how many touches will he get as a rookie?
5. Christian Kirk – Arizona Cardinals
Kirk is an excellent slot who steps into a situation where he can learn from one of the best receivers in football. He could have some early success and may get a boost if Josh Rosen cracks the lineup.
6. Dante Pettis – San Francisco 49ers
Pettis is known as an excellent returner and a very underrated wide receiver. If he can get a rapport with Jimmy Garoppolo he could do big things in the NFL and for your fantasy team.
7. Tre’Quan Smith – New Orleans Saints
Any offensive player the Saints are willing to invest highly is is worth watching. If Smith could step into the number two receiver role at some point, he could do very good things for your fantasy team.
8. Jaleel Scott – Baltimore Ravens
Scott needs some development, but he is an excellent fit for the Ravens. They have a plethora of veteran options, but Scott is an excellent jump ball receiver who could be a touchdown machine.
9. DaeSean Hamilton – Denver Broncos
Hamilton runs great routes and is an excellent redzone option.
10. J’Mon Moore – Green Bay Packers
Moore was a very underrated receiver with excellent speed. With the Packers’ need at the position he could emerge as a viable fantasy option.
11. Braxton Berrios – New England Patriots
Berios runs excellent routes and could be a great play as a slot receiver.
12. James Washington – Pittsburgh Steelers
Washington is an excellent deep ball receiver who could fit nicely into Martavis Bryant’s role.
13. Courtland Sutton – Denver Broncos
Sutton is a very big receiver who will need some work to match his hype.
14. DJ Chark – Jacksonville Jaguars
Clark has great size and speed, but a lot of issues in his game. A bit of a long shot, but worth watching.
15. Marcel Ateman – Oakland Raiders
A bit of a long shot for fantasy in a rookie given all of the talent in Oakland, but has the tools.
1. Hayden Hurst – Baltimore Ravens
Flacco loves throwing to the tight end in the red zone. Hurst could be a good option in a pinch.
2. Dallas Goedert – Philadelphia Eagles
Goedert has a lot of talent and walks into an exciting offense, but how productive can the second tight end be week in and week out?
3. Mike Gesicki – Miami Dolphins
Gesicki is a great athlete and the Dolphins have been looking for a tight end to lean on in the pass game.
4. Dalton Schultz – Dallas Cowboys
With Jason Witten riding off into the sunset, Schultz could emerge as the top guy in Dallas. He is known as a blocker, but is has an underrated ability to make plays in the pass game as well.
5. Mark Andrews – Baltimore Ravens
It is difficult to say how Andrews will fit into the Ravens offense, but he is a highly skilled receiver who could put up some impressive fantasy numbers.